Found in far northern Vermont in the course of an art buying trip some years ago, is this unframed 20" by 16" oil on canvas portrait of a man, apparently signed "Shoelman" at lower right and signed again and dated on the reverse (possibly, 1806, though, more likely, 1846, considering the style---the digit likely a "4"). I acquired the painting near Cambridge/Jeffersonville not far from the Canadian border. At the time the seller said there had been speculation by a previous owner that this was a portrait of Prophet Joseph Smith of Mormon fame (who was born further south, in Sharon, VT in 1805, died 1844). I recently reached out to historians/archivists at the Church of Latter Day Saints in Salt Lake City to learn if this might indeed be a portrait of the Prophet, Joseph Smith. In a well-researched reply, the church librarians/historians state that they do not see any evidence that this is a portrait of the venerated Joseph Smith of LDS history. They suggest it could just be of a man named Joseph Smith, from Vermont, that story having been corrupted somewhat, as it passed down from generation to generation.
I have found no known artist by the name of Shoelman (I also tried J Hoelman).
The work has a number of condition issues---small losses, paint instability and so forth, as shown. In need of restoration, even though it has evidently had some in the past, perhaps not of optimum quality.
American 1840's early portrait painting of a man